noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.(figurative) Tequila and blood oranges star in this Margarita, which gets a spicy kick from homemade jalapeño syrup.— Natalie Migliarini
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 transitive
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce star (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At 6 feet tall, Port was a basketball star and a senior class leader at Escondido High School. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Obituary: 1922-2021: D-Day veteran, Escondido community leader Jack Port recalled as a ‘hero’," 14 Apr. 2021 Rice was an all-star in his first season with Buffalo. Mark Inabinett |, al, "From Walter Gilbert to Prince Tega Wanogho: Auburn’s NFL Draft picks," 14 Apr. 2021 Not the case for new Ford Escape models, which were deemed an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and given a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Watch These 12 Vehicles Score Poor Ratings During IIHS Crash Testing," 13 Apr. 2021 McDonald was the star of the NCAA tournament, coming so close to winning the championship. Dallas News, "2021 WNBA mock draft roundup: See who experts have the Dallas Wings selecting with multiple first-round picks," 13 Apr. 2021 Blake is probably the biggest star on a Philadelphia team that may not have many big names but could be the best team in the league entering the season. Tim Booth, Star Tribune, "MLS 2021: Players young and old to watch in new MLS season," 13 Apr. 2021 Haley is a prominent star in the GOP, and was widely assumed to be running in the next presidential race. Jill Filipovic, CNN, "Nikki Haley fails the Trump test," 13 Apr. 2021 Mare was a star of that team, but after that decades-old highlight, life hasn’t been smooth. oregonlive, "‘Mare of Easttown’: Kate Winslet leads a strong cast in HBO’s gripping crime drama," 13 Apr. 2021 Walker had a highlight dunk in Dallas on Sunday night, but DeMar DeRozan was the Spurs' star. San Antonio Express-News, "Express Briefing: 124 jobs so far: S.A.'s job-retraining program off to slow start," 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Timberlake is attached to star as Barris, who claimed in the book to have been an assassin for the CIA. Tyler Aquilina,, "Justin Timberlake to play game show host, alleged CIA assassin Chuck Barris in Apple TV+ series," 10 Apr. 2021 The story follows her journey from young poet to star of the inauguration and beyond. Fortune, "How adding women executives alters ‘C-Suite thinking’," 8 Apr. 2021 In 1948, The Sign of The Ram made Susan Peters the first actress and wheelchair user to star in a mainstream Hollywood thriller. Anne Cohen,, "Run’s Kiera Allen Is An Action Star Like You’ve Never Seen Before," 1 Apr. 2021 According to Variety, the True Detective actor is attached to star in HBO’s potential adaptation of the novel’s second sequel, currently in development at the network. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, "Matthew McConaughey Has Time to Kill for HBO Limited Series, Now In Development," 18 Mar. 2021 Billie Eilish went from award-winning newcomer to star of her own documentary, and Taylor Swift released not one but two albums. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Grammys 2021 Red Carpet: Here Are the Best-Dressed Stars," 14 Mar. 2021 Hammer was originally attached to star in the project as White House Counsel John Dean, per Deadline. Nicholas Rice,, "Armie Hammer's Role to Be Recast in Watergate Series Gaslit Starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn," 22 Feb. 2021 Whoopi Goldberg is on board to star and produce, with Tyler Perry also signed on as a producer. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Check Out All the Big Announcements From Disney Investors Day," 11 Dec. 2020 After agreeing to star in the short, Cedillo recruited other experienced actors, Richard Jackson (No Country for Old Men) and Jero Medina (Narcos: Mexico). Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Merced Elizondo wants to put Oak Cliff on HBO," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective During Selling Sunset season one, Mary Fitzgerald helped actor Taye Diggs (who is also co-star Amanza Smith's ex) find a new home. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Will French Montana Appear on Netflix's "Selling Sunset?" Mary Fitzgerald Discusses His Potential Role," 15 Apr. 2021 The Blazers moved on when Aldridge left, thrusting Lillard into the limelight and elevating CJ McCollum into the co-star role, and the duo remains the bedrock of the franchise. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Remembering LaMarcus Aldridge’s guarded but steady legacy with the Portland Trail Blazers," 15 Apr. 2021 Davis and McDormand have the possible disadvantage of having recently won Oscars, and Davis’s co-star Chadwick Boseman is all but a lock for Best Actor, possibly giving voters a reason not to reward both. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Oscars Spotlight: The Unusually Wide-Open Actress Races," 15 Apr. 2021 This could be anything from a hypocrisy-highlighting montage to a lingering shot of one cast member calmly sipping wine while her co-star drunkenly rolls around on the lawn, or throws a flute across it. Anna Peele, Vulture, "The Soul of Bravo," 14 Apr. 2021 Hitchcock started as a film jack of all trades in the silent era, was a star British director by the time the talkies emerged, and then, lured to the States by David O. Selznick, became a mid-century Hollywood icon with an exacting reputation. Washington Post, "In ‘The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock,’ it’s the contradictions that made the man," 14 Apr. 2021 Clark Gable threatened to boycott the premiere if his friend and co-star Hattie McDaniel wasn’t welcomed there. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Hollywood Won’t Really Leave Georgia," 14 Apr. 2021 For someone who's grown up in the world of mega-star celebrities, Corinne Foxx's skin care routine is wildly relatable. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Corinne Foxx Drops Her Skin-Care Routine," 13 Apr. 2021 The Sun Is Also a Star alongside co-star Yara Shahidi in 2019. Rachel Desantis,, "Riverdale's Charles Melton Is the Newest Special Olympics Global Ambassador: 'I'm Pretty Excited'," 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 4


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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